Family disputes common when bequests are unequal

On Behalf of | Mar 28, 2016 | Blog

Family disputes after the death of a loved one can lead to bitter Nevada court battles. They are particularly common when parents treat children differently in terms of bequests. Although there might be a valid reason for unequal bequests, this type of case is more prone to being challenged in court. A parent who intends to treat children differently in their will may find that careful planning and good communication can help in averting legal difficulties later on.

Statistics suggest that unequal treatment in wills has increased dramatically as an estimated 35 percent of parents plan to leave unequal inheritances to their children. There are actually many appropriate reasons for such treatment. For example, parents might desire to provide for a disabled or disadvantaged child by leaving the majority of their estate to that child.

In some cases, gifts may have been given while the parents were alive, and they might leave a larger inheritance to a child that has not received them. Education expenses, help with house payments, or compensation for acting as a caregiver could also influence the amount left to a given child. Even when children are treated equally in a will, disputes can arise because of these same issues as some may feel that they deserve a larger inheritance than has been allotted.

One of the best ways to head off these potential problems is to include one’s heirs as well as an estate planning attorney in a will planning meeting. This would provide an opportunity for all parties to hear the parents’ goals, plans, and reasoning for certain decisions. Questions and objections could be handled prior to formalizing plans, and the attorney might document the event with careful notes of the conversation.